I am the Mommy whose baby didn’t sleep. Ever. The only way I could get her to nap in those first few months was to put her in the Moby Wrap and bounce on the exercise ball. It was torture! While my other Mommy friends were taking walks together and having lunch with their sleeping babes, I was bleary-eyed and useless. Then, I surrendered. I researched the heck out of sleep training and schedules. Here, I share with you my favorite sleep tips.
- Get blackout blinds and a white noise machine. Make the room dark, cozy and womb-like. Trust me on this one
- Develop a routine. We did bath, bottle, book and bed (no later than 7pm) at night and bottle, book, bed during the day. There are lots of good sample schedules, too. Sleepy Planet’s is my favorite: http://www.sleepyplanet.com/schedule.html
- Let Baby soothe himself, at least a little bit. As The National Sleep Foundation puts it, “When infants are put to bed drowsy but not asleep, they are more likely to become “self- soothers” which enables them to fall asleep independently at bedtime and put themselves back to sleep during the night. Those who have become accustomed to parental assistance at bedtime often become “signalers” and cry for their parents to help them return to sleep during the night.” Try giving him a Silkie or other breathable, crib-safe soothing apparatus
- Give Baby time to rest, even if she doesn’t nap. According to prominent pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson, babies need 16 hours of sleep per day. Ideally, that looks like 12 hours at night and 4 hours during baby’s 3 daytime naps. Even if all you get is a little rest yourself, it’ll help you both
- Let Daddy help. Feel guilty that he’s got to work tomorrow? So do you. Let him take a feeding or 2 every night. Because Mommy’s got to sleep to be a good Mommy and that’s a fact!
Any questions? Please post them. Every Mommy has her own best tips. Maybe you’ll get some great answers from the Mommy Concierge community.
In the meantime, I’m rooting for you and your baby. And, “this, too, shall pass.”